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Key Dates for SHC Activity

  • June 26, 2014 to December 2014, initial phase of sign up - January 2015 onwards; Second phase - sign up/maintaining engagement with industry partners
  • July 1 each year - Progress report to be submitted by partners. This should set out progress made against the previous action plan.
  • July 1 each year - Update of action plan for the next 12 month period by partners
  • September 1 each year - Scottish Government to publish annual report


Supporting Healthy Choices Voluntary Framework

In Scotland we need to inspire healthier diets among our people to help to reduce health inequalities for the country’s longer-term economic benefit.

The Supporting Healthy Choices (SHC) framework sets out the Scottish Government and the Food Standards Agency in Scotland ambition to work collaboratively with partners to improve Scotland’s diet and tackle health inequalities. This is based on the work of a Background Paper undertaken by Food Standards Agency in Scotland:

Rebalancing our diet, and that of our children, is a responsibility shared between individuals, communities, industry and Government. But changing established habits is neither easy nor quick. Consistent messages and education are crucial, across all life-stages, using a broad range of techniques. The food and drink environment has enormous potential to encourage and influence healthier choices, across the whole food journey from advertising and in-situ marketing to reformulation and provision of healthier products.

This SHC framework is centred on rebalancing the Scottish diet using four core principles:

1. Put children's health first in food-related decisions

2. Rebalance promotional activities to significantly shift the balance towards healthier choices

3. Support consumers and communities with education and information:

  • Working in partnership on social marketing campaigns
  • Providing nutrition information on labels and calorie labelling on menus

4. Formulate healthier products and menus across retail and out of home catering:

  • Reformulating existing products over time
  • Improving kitchen practice

SHC partners include the Scottish Government, the Food Standards Agency in Scotland, the food and drink industry, including retailers, manufacturers and out of home catering businesses, NHSScotland and local authorities. We invite all partners to work with us by implementing a range of voluntary commitments which reflect the action we believe is necessary to rebalance diets in Scotland.

Sign Up, Monitoring and Reporting Arrangements

To sign up, partners are asked to specify which commitments they intend to work towards over the course of the next year. In doing so, partners will be required to submit a short action plan setting out the activity they have taken, or intend to take, in relation to achieving these commitments.

A short progress report will be submitted annually by partners. This report will be based on their action plan and should be submitted on July 1 each year. As part of this process, partners will also update their action plan to reflect activity for the forthcoming year. These reports will be used to publish a summary of progress across Scotland annually. This will be a high level report which will recognise and highlight progress and good practice and where appropriate identify areas where further action is required. The report will then be hosted on this webpage.

Additionally a range of stakeholders and partners have demonstrated their support to the Supporting Healthy Choices guidance by providing supporting statements: